Flagler college surf team girls making mark

By Nora Breedlove | gargoyle@flagler.edu

The only two girls on the Flagler College surf team — Katie Brady and Sara Lear — continue to stand strong.

Brady, a freshman from Montauk, N.Y., and Lear, a sophomore from Ponte Vedra, are short boarders for the team.

Brady, who began surfing at age 7, was taught by her dad. Recently, she went to Sydney and Bryon Bay, Australia for a two week surf trip with her family. She said she enjoyed surfing in a different country. Brady’s idol is Kassia Meador, a long boarder who learned how to surf in Malibu, Calif.

Lear, who began surfing at age 13, was also taught by her dad, Steve Lear, an alumnus of Flagler College. Lear enjoys traveling as well, and has been to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Mexico and Barbados. Lear hopes to go to Puerto Rico in the future.

Brady and Lear say being the only two girls on the team isn’t an issue.

“I love it,” Lear said. “I learn a lot from the boys on our team.”

The surf team works out with Chris Ropero, a professional surfer, who trains them to strengthen their endurance and the muscles used for surfing.

During the contests, Brady and Lear have different instructions than the male surfers. The boys have to complete five heats before getting to the finals, whereas the females only have to complete three heats.

The Flagler College surf team is the number one surf team in Florida for the past four years. The team competes with other schools such as University of North Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, FIT and College of Charleston. The team hopes to win the National Scholastic Surfing Association East Coast Championship so they can go to California to compete against other teams around the country.

Tom Casse, the president of the surf team, acknowledges the talent of Brady and Lear.

“They have a lot to offer and make the team a lot of fun,” Casse said. “Everyone’s happy to have two solid girl surfers.”

Brady and Lear encourage girls to try surfing and not to be scared or intimated by boys.

“Just do it,” Brady said. “No one cares.”

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